Homebuilders — Neighboring as a Family
July 29, 2020
Neighboring as a Family
-What if the solution to our society’s biggest issues has been right under our noses for the past two thousand years? When Jesus was asked to reduce everything in the Bible into one command, He said: Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself.
-What if He meant that we should love our actual neighbors—the people who live right next door?
-Unfortunate reality: the majority of Christians don’t even know the names of most of their neighbors.
-Reasons for this: Intimidation/wariness of strangers, fear of rejection, time constraints, etc.
-Ten Principles to Help Your Family Start Neighboring:
1. Avoid unfounded conclusions.
-Galatians 5:14, For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
2. Neighbor differently.
–There isn’t a noticeable difference in how Christians and non-Christians neighbor in our community. (city official in Colorado)
-Compare 2 Corinthians 4:3-6 to Matthew 5:16
3. Take the Great Commandment literally.
-Luke 10:27, …[love] thy neighbor as thyself.
–love = to welcome, to entertain, to be fond of, to love dearly
-Despite your concept of love, all can agree that loving at least includes learning the names of your neighbors.
4. Take ownership of the mission.
-The solutions to people’s problems are not ultimately found in the governments, police, schools, or even in merely getting more people to go to church.
-The mission was given to you and me as followers of Jesus – Go and do thou likewise. (Luke 10:37)
5. Join the .
-Relationships are progressive—they don’t all happen overnight.
-Over and over in Scripture, discipleship relationships developed though time (i.e. Jesus. Paul, etc.)
6. Remember that Jesus has something good to offer people.
-We’re not selling Amway or Avon—we’re inviting people to receive Jesus’ offer of free eternal life!
-John 1:12, But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:
7. Take note of the alternatives.
8. Brainstorm ways to put love into .
-Start small and put yourself in their shoes.
-Examples: Bake something, ask if they need anything from the store, invite for a meal/BBQ, always say hello and look for ways to chat when you see them out and about
9. Recognize your excuses.
-Our “go-to” mode is selfishness.
-Beware of the “off the clock” mentality.
-Don’t look for . (Lk. 10:29, But he, willing to justify himself, said unto Jesus, And who is my neighbour?)
10. Aim specifically.
–When we aim for everything, we hit nothing.
–When we insist we’re neighbors with everybody, often we end up being neighbors with .
-Choose one or two neighbors with which to start.
-Consider your eight surrounding neighbors (see chart).
–If we don’t take Jesus’ command literally, then we turn the Great Commandment into nothing more than a metaphor. We have a metaphoric love for our metaphoric neighbors, and our communities are changed—but only metaphorically, of course. In other words, changes.
*Taken from The Art of Neighboring by Jay Pathak & Dave Runyon